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Thursday, 3 October, 2002, 02:42 GMT 03:42 UK
Gore warns Bush over economy
Al Gore
Gore is considering running for president again
Former US Vice-President Al Gore has said that President George W Bush should be paying as much attention to the country's damaged economy as planning a war with Iraq.


If we turn a blind eye to our weak economy it will eventually undermine everything else that we are trying to accomplish

Al Gore
Mr Gore warned that the economy was in "big trouble" and that it had created a global "crisis of confidence" in America's economic leadership.

In his second major policy speech in two weeks Mr Gore said Mr Bush was trying to dodge his responsibilities on the issue.

Mr Gore was the Democratic presidential candidate in 2000 and he is currently considering whether to stand again.

Shifting focus

"How can it be essential that we go to war prior to the election but absolutely fine to wait until after the election before we take any action to deal with the economy?" Mr Gore said.

George W Bush
Bush is intent on planning for possible war with Iraq

"He needs to take responsibility for the fact that these policy failures have contributed to the crisis in confidence in US economic leadership," he added.

Some Democrats are concerned that a focus on Iraq will put them at a disadvantage when voters go to the polls for mid-term congressional elections on 5 November.

Derision

"We've got an election five weeks from now and a lot of the most important issues don't seem to be being discussed very much," Mr Gore said.


I guess he's trying to find some way to become relevant for 2004 - but I think he's missed the boat

Senator Trent Lott

"If we turn a blind eye to our weak economy it will eventually undermine everything else that we are trying to accomplish - whether it's winning the war against terrorism or giving all families the economic opportunities they deserve," he added.

Republicans have been swift to criticise Mr Gore's comments.

"I guess he's trying to get back in the dialogue. I guess he's trying to find some way to become relevant for 2004.

"But I think he's missed the boat," said Senate Republican leader Trent Lott of Mississippi said.


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03 Oct 02 | Americas
24 Sep 02 | Americas
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